Dehumidifier freezing over? It may be time for a deep cleaning!

Moisture and humidity are two things that homeowners want to keep out of their house. Water is a breeding ground for many different issues including mold and mildew, which can lead to serious health problems if exposure is frequent. Using a dehumidifier can keep the moisture out of the air, and in turn, keep the mold and mildew to a minimum.

If you already have a dehumidifier, you know that the coils and tray can get pretty nasty at times. We will cover how to keep your dehumidifier running as efficiently as possible, but first, let’s discuss when you may need a dehumidifier in your home.

Should I Install a Dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers suck the moisture out the air, but how do you know if your home has too much moisture and needs a little help drying out? Let’s look at a few signs that you may need to invest in a dehumidifier.

  1. You see spots. Mold spots, that is. Mold stains are a sure sign that your home is too wet. These signs can appear in any room of the house. Most commonly they will show themselves in the bathroom or basement. Next time you are in the shower, look up at the ceiling. If you see dark spots, you have a mold problem. After calling a professional to assess the mold problem, it’s time to invest in a dehumidifier.
  2. You’ve noticed condensation gathers on your windows. Water beads on your windows can mean that windows weren’t installed properly, or that your room has too much moisture. A dehumidifier can help by pulling the moisture out of the air, and keeping the humidity level down appropriately.
  3. Your home is starting to smell musty. That smell of must means that mold and mildew are present. These issues breed in heavy moisture, and can lead to bigger problems than just a bad smell. If your home smells musty, it’s important to figure out where the issue is coming from, and take appropriate action to repair the problem.
  4. Water run off is a constant problem. When it rains, does your basement show signs of water damage? If you see watermarks, it’s time to get a dehumidifier. It is also crucial that you figure out where the root of the problem lies, and fix it as quickly as possible.
  5. Rotting wood is another sign that there is too much moisture in your home. Excess moisture can be a factor. Rotting wood can actually start to diminish the value of your home.
  6. You suffer from allergies on a regular basis. Moisture can carry allergens like dust mites and mold spores, helping them spread and grow throughout your home. Keeping your humidity levels at a healthy level can prevent ongoing allergies as well as respiratory problems.

Cleaning a Dehumidifier Keeps it Running Smoothly!

woman in living room opening up portable dehumidifierOnce you’ve installed your dehumidifier, keeping up on maintenance is imperative. Since the dehumidifier is actively pulling the moisture out of the air and into the attached basin, it is a breeding ground for mildew, mineral build up, and mold.

Keeping the device clean will keep these issues out of the air and away from your family. You can use a simple mixture of vinegar and a few other cleaning tools to regularly clean away the dirt from your dehumidifier.

Professionals recommend that you clean out the dehumidifier at least once a week. Here is the appropriate way to make cleaning easy and stress free.

  1. Take apart your dehumidifier. It can be a pain, but to ensure you are cleaning every inch of the dehumidifier, taking apart the dehumidifier is the best step. Shut down the dehumidifier and unplug the unit. Using the manual that came with the dehumidifier, start to disassemble the unit properly, beginning with the tank that holds the excess water.  If you can remove the motor, it’s best to do so, but your dehumidifier may not have this function.
  2. Clean the tank. Start by giving the tank a good scrub down. Take a spray bottle and mix one part vinegar with one part water. Spray the mixture in the dehumidifier tank. Allow the spray to sit for a while before wiping the tray down with a sponge, scrub brush, or even a toothbrush.
  3. Clean the filter and coils by cleaning the grille using a soft bristle brush. Remove the accumulated dirt by scrubbing in up and down motions. Then spray the coils with the same cleaner you used for the tray. After you’ve allowed the mixture to settle, pour lukewarm water over the coils, making sure to cover the motor of the dehumidifier to keep water away.
  4. Fan blades are next. Using a damn cloth, you can simply wipe off the blades, and remove the accumulated dirt quickly and easily. You may also choose to lubricate the blades by using 3-4 drops of motor oil.
  5. A vacuum cleaner can be used to dust out the interior of the dehumidifier. Use the hose attachment to get into every corner of the unit, and remove all the dust and dirt.
  6. Once the unit is thoroughly dried and cleaned, you can assemble it again, and plug it back in. Run the machine, and keep an eye out for condensation on the coils. If there is none, you’ve cleaned the unit properly and it’s ready to go! If condensation is on the coils, it is time to call in a professional repair service, or purchase a new unit.

Dehumidifiers are perfect for keeping excess moisture out of your home, and lessening the chances of mold and mildew growing in your home. Keeping your dehumidifier maintained will save you money and potential issues to your home down the line. 

Contact A&J today for water damage clean up emergencies and services by A&J Specialty Services Inc DKI of Madison, Sun Prairie, Milwaukee, WI Dells, Fort Atkinson, Watertown, and Waukesha, Wisconsin

If you discover that mildew and mold have taken residence in your home, A&J Property Restoration is here to help. We understand that mold issues are a big problem, and we want to make the removal as simple as possible for all our clients. We’re always open for emergency services, and are ready to take your call today.